Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer…
There is no other fact more incontrovertibly established than the fact that idolatry of every sort is a system of sorrows. Forsaking the one living and true God to serve other gods has written the scroll of human history, within and without, with mourning and lamentation and woe. The command, "Thou shalt have no other gods, but Me," is a command grounded in the nature of things, and the necessities of the human soul. The human soul cannot have any other god without piercing itself through with many sorrows. The moment it adopts, as the object of its supreme love and adoration, any other being than the Lord God it begins to degenerate. The result is the same degeneracy where the attempt is made even to blend with the worship of the true God the worship of other beings. Saint worship has proved as disastrous to human progress as the worship of pagan gods and heroes. Italy has been as sadly degraded by papal as it ever was by pagan Rome. Jupiter, and Venus, and Bacchus, and Mars have only been displaced by saints as little entitled to our respect. It is only as the soul chooses for its worship an object of supreme excellence that it rises in the scale of moral and intellectual dignity. Such an object David's soul had chosen as the God of its worship: "Their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips." Drink offerings of wine were offered by the Israelites; but all such offerings of blood were forbidden them (Leviticus 17:9-14). The heathen, however, in their worship, both drank and offered blood. It will be recollected by the reader of history that Catiline pledged his accomplices in a goblet of blood, binding them by fearful oaths to the performance of fearful deeds, previous to explaining to them his plan for the massacre of the Roman senate and people. Hannibal, too, is said to have made a blood-drinking vow. We have read also of a tyrant who, piercing his enemies with hot irons, and gathering the blood in a cup as it flowed, drank one half of it, and offered up the other half to his god. These illustrations go to prove that worshipping other gods than the true God degrades men more and more, until the words "brute" and "fiend" are the only words that accurately describe him.
(David Caldwell, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.